'Capitalism Is Mother Earth's Cancer': World People's Summit Issues 12 Demands

The establishment of an independent climate tribunal to hold wealthy nations accountable emerged as a central goal of conference in Bolivia
By Deirdre Fulton / commondreams.org
Oct 14, 2015
0
"Caring for Mother Earth is a moral issue," UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon (left) told the World People's Conference on Saturday. "We must change how we use Mother Earth's resources, and live in a manner that is sustainable." Here, he is pictured with Bolivian President Evo Morales. (Photo: Reuters)

 

Decrying capitalism as a "threat to life," an estimated 7,000 environmentalists, farmers, and Indigenous activists from 40 countries convened in the Bolivian town of Tiquipaya for this weekend's World People's Conference on Climate Change, aiming to elevate the demands of social movements and developing countries in the lead-up to upcoming United Nations-led climate talks.

"Capitalism is Mother Earth's cancer," Bolivian President Evo Morales told the crowd, which also heard over the course of the three-day conference from United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon as well as other Latin American leaders.

The people's summit, which concluded Monday afternoon, produced a 12-point declaration(Spanish) that will be presented during the COP21 climate negotiations taking place November 30-December 11 in Paris, France, during which 200 countries will attempt to cement an agreement to curb global warming. The COP21 agenda has been criticized for its sidestepping of issues like the role of capitalism in climate change and for the robust involvement of multinational corporations in the talks.

According to a translation, the Declaración de Tiquipaya calls for, among other things:

  • the creation of an international tribunal with "a binding legal capacity to prevent, prosecute and punish states that pollute and cause climate change by action or omission";
  • compensation from wealthy countries to developing nations for "climate, social, and ecological debt accumulated over time";
  • reclamation of the global commons; and
  • wholesale rejection of global capitalist and colonialist systems.

 

"We demand that the Paris Agreement does address the structural causes of capitalism," the declaration reads. "It does not have to be an agreement that reinforces the capitalist model, through more market mechanisms, allowing volunteer commitments, encouraging the private sector and strengthening patriarchy and neo-colonialism."

In advance of the Bolivia summit, the World People's Conference website elaborated further:

The world is being buffeted by multiple global crisis that manifests itself in a climate, financial, food, energy, institutional, cultural, ethical and spiritual crisis. These are the manifestations of unbridled consumerism and a model of society where the human being claims to be superior to Mother Earth... It is a system characterized by the domination of the economy by gigantic transnational corporations whose targets are the accumulation of power and benefits, and for which the market values are more important than the lives of human beings and Mother Earth.

Though the establishment of an independent climate tribunal emerged as a central goal of the Bolivian summit, Reuters noted on Monday that the idea "is a non-starter with almost every other country going to the Paris talks."

Even the European Union, which as recently as December argued for a strong, legally binding deal, "is increasingly talking about a' pledge and review' system," Reuters wrote, "under which national commitments would be re-assessed every five years against a goal of halving world emissions by 2050."

As for Bolivia, teleSUR reports: "The South American nation has taken it upon itself to advocate for climate change issues on behalf of other developing nations," with environmental activist Moira Zuazo telling the publication that "70 percent of the Bolivian people say that development is less important than Mother Earth and we are listening to them."


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Trending Videos
Documentaries by Scott Noble
We Need Activism to Have More Compassion In It
Sustainable Human
Films For Patrons: Donate $5/mo to Gain Access to These Great Films

Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Over the last 15 years, we've reviewed and curated over 1,000 free documentaries and 4,000 short films, plus over 150 pay-per-view documentaries, spanning 34 topics related to changing the world.

During this time we've been able to reach tens of millions of people - not by owning a TV network or spending truckloads of cash on advertising, but because millions of awesome people keep sharing 'films for action' with their friends on social media - in particular, our 850,000 supporters on Facebook and 70,000 site members. 

One of the coolest things is, thanks to our patrons, our library is ad-free and 100% supported by member donations, while 99% of our library is free to access and always will be. The pay-per-view films on our site, of course, help support the filmmakers, and 90-100% of the revenue for PPV films hosted by us goes to the filmmakers. 

To thank our $5/mo patrons, we partner with filmmakers and distributors to provide access to a growing number of films that are normally pay-per-view. With just 23 highly curated films at the moment, it's basically a mini "Netflix for world changers," but its main function is to support the library as a whole.

If you'd like to know more, want to help out, or you're a filmmaker or distributor looking to collaborate, drop us a line via our contact page. 

Cheers,  
Tim Hjersted
Co-Founder & Director
Lawrence, KS